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'Bones' preview: Emily Deschanel on Brennan's reunion with mom

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Bones Shot In The Dark
Jordin Althaus/FOX

On tonight’s Bones, Brennan will fight for her life after being shot in the lab. But this isn’t your typical brush-with-death.

The episode will also find Brennan coming face to face with her dead mother (Brooke Langton) in an alternate-universe/heaven/…well, we’ll let Emily Deschanel explain.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s talk about this episode. It sounds like a fairly spiritual hour, considering Brennan is not a believer.

EMILY DESCHANEL: Brennan is convinced that she’s hallucinating and hasn’t gone to heaven, but people may end up interpreting it differently — maybe even Brennan interprets it differently by the end. But basically she’s shot and flatlines for a period of time — a few times, really — and kind of goes to her childhood house and finds herself in her childhood home with her mother. It brings up all of the wounds from being abandoned. But Brennan is always rationalizing everything, and [the experience] kind of breaks down some of her barriers. By the end, it kind of gives her a reason to rethink her hyper-rational demeanor and consider listening to her heart from time to time.

She has a lot of ground to cover with her mom — Brennan is in a relationship, she’s a mother — how many of those subjects do they cover?

We cover a lot. It’s just a few scenes in one episode, but we cover a lot. The actress who plays my mom, Brooke Langton, she’s wonderful to work with. It’s kind of the awkward, strange conversation you might have in an alternate reality with your dead mother. [Laughs]  She’s curious what [Brennan’s] life is like and [Brennan] is convinced that if she is who she says she is, she would know. If she’s from heaven, she would know what her life is like.  But I tell her about my relationship and my child. She’s also curious about my father and how he’s doing and how he is. She has a message for him as well. So yeah we cover a lot of topics even though Brennan is pretty resistant for a while to even discuss things with her mother.

Meeting this character, do you think it will make us better understand Brennan in any way?

I think it will help understand why Brennan behaves the way she does, and I think you’ll maybe have some compassion or sympathy for why she behaves the way she [has] over the years. Her mother gives insight into that, and I think it encourages Brennan to look at herself and why she’s done things.

Speaking of encouragement, I know some fans are hoping that her mom encourages Brennan to marry Booth.

[Laughs] I think it does [come up] but I don’t think there’s anything definitive that comes out of it.

I hear it’s also a great episode for you and Ryan O’Neal.

Ryan does a really wonderful performance. He does a beautiful job in this. Basically, I’m coming in and out of consciousness and my father is by my side and Booth. They think they’re going to lose me a few times — and I do die, technically, for a couple of minutes. I think it brings up a lot of intense feelings and fears. Ryan plays that beautifully and David does a good job too. It’s a nice connection to dad for Brennan.

Do we know who shoots Brennan? is that something we figure out in the episode?

Yes. It is solved.

Switching briefly to a slightly happier times ahead, I hear that in an upcoming episode Sweets is going to finally move out of Brennan and Booth’s house. Will they be happy to have their house back? Or will she be kind of bummed? She was so reluctant to have him there, but it seems like he grew on her…

She’s surprisingly very upset that he’s leaving. She’s become very attached to him and things that he cooks and the movies that he likes and the things he can offer the family. They’ve grown to have this parent-child relationship and Brennan likes having him around. She is sad to see him go. So that’s kind of sweet — no pun intended — to see Brennan attached to Sweets.


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